Word From Brazil
Finally received word from Abbot Gerard currently making the visitation at our daughter house, Novo Mundo, in Brazil. The reason for the delay is heavy cloud covering knocked out the internet satellite for a few days. But all is back in operation and they are enjoying 80 degree weather.
The initial report is that the community there is doing well with 27 members, 8 novices and 2 juniors – most in their 20s and 30s with the oldest, Padre Francisco, one of the original founders, 94 years of age and doing well.
They are in the process of making their church larger. Fr. Gerard reports that the wood for the roof amounted to over 40 tons and came from one tree in the Amazon. The tree was 120 feet tall and weighed 60 tons. When completed there will be room for some 200 guests.
Three Cistercian Founders
Friday of this week we will join the whole Cistercian Family celebrating the solemnity of our Founders, Sts. Robert, Alberic and Stephen. The foundation was made from a Benedictine community, Molesm, back in 1098, 920 years ago. You’ll find an interesting, concise history of the foundation on the web site, Cistercian Beginnings where mention is made of the famous Charter of Charity which effectively created the first organized Religious Order in the Church. Fr. Gerard is expected to return as we celebrate the feast.
Out of Your Mind?
Have you ever felt that you might be out of your mind as you try to live a faithful Christian life in today’s world. If so, as Fr. Justin pointed out in his homily for Saturday, you are in plenty of good company. See Homily, January 20th.
Lest the he loved them to the end (John 13:1) be seen exclusively as dying for the other, we must keep in mind that Jesus’ commandment is for the life in the community, not for the rapid depletion of its numbers. Living for the other is infinitely more difficult than dying for her or him.
It takes much longer, lacks glamor, and has to fight boredom and the blight of familiarity. The coming of Christ into the world gives us life to live for others. Few of us are given the chance to die for one another; but all of us have a life to live for them.
The Gospel of John
Stanley B. Marrow, SJ